COVID-19 Crisis: Local government unites (LGUs) must comply with national government rules regarding face shields

Are you tired of using face shields when moving around in public here in the Philippines during this COVID-19 crisis? The issue about face shields became hot recently in relation to what President Rodrigo Duterte said about them which drew mixed reactions on a national scale. That being said, the national government made a move about the issue with the local government units (LGU) according to a news report by GMA Network.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the GMA Network report. Some parts in bold…

Local government units must adjust their ordinances on the use of face shields to match the national government’s decision on the matter amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to Vonne Aquino’s report on “24 Oras Weekend,” Inter-Agency Task Force co-chairperson Secretary Karlo Nograles said President Rodrigo Duterte currently has a memorandum on the use of face shields.

“Apart from ‘yung sinabi ni Pangulo na hospitals, may idadagdag din doon sa memo na list nung places kung saan kailangan mag soot ng face shield,” he said.

(Apart from the what President said on hospitals, the memo includes other places where the use of face shields is mandatory.)

“So completely and clearly, makikita natin doon saan lang talaga… na dapat mandatory magsoot ng face shield. All other places, it won’t be mandatory. Kumbaga, magiging ano na lang siya… voluntary,” he added.

(So completely and clearly, we can see places where use is mandatory. All other places, it won’t be mandatory. It will be voluntary.)

Malacañang on Thursday said the President’s statement on the wearing of face shields on top of face masks only in hospitals is considered policy.

Nograles said local governments must adjust their ordnances.

“It cannot be over and beyond ‘yung policy ng national, no? You cannot have LGUs na mas strict ‘yung guidance or ‘yung enforcement kaysa sa ano, kasi magkakalituhan, eh,” he said.

(It cannot be over and beyond ‘yung policy ng national. You cannot have LGUs with stricter guidance or enforcement because it will lead to confusion.)

Meanwhile, the Metro Manila Council said it has yet to tackle the issue.

“Ang mag mayors, may kaniya-kaniyang pananaw dito… it’s better for the IATF since they got experts there. At, of course, mapag-uusapang maiigi ito,” Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos said.

(The mayors have varying views on this. It’s better for the IATF since they have experts there. Of course, we will talk about this.)

And now here is a related news video by GMA Network…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you believe that there more disadvantages than advantages with the use of face shields in public? Do you believe that face shields are truly protective? Is your local government clear and specific with regards to the use of face shields? Do you believe that it is excessive for a person to be arrested and imprisoned for failing to use a face shield? Do you think that the national government knows what it is doing over the issue of face shields?

Who do you think would benefit the most when people are required to use face shields?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Vaccination of patients under A4 category ongoing

Vaccination for COVID-19 has entered a new stage with the inoculation of the many registered patients who are under the category of A4 (to be done in two phases). To be clear, the Department of Health (DOH) describes A4 as the category pertaining to frontline personnel in essential sectors, including uniformed personnel.

For starters, watch the GMA Network news video below…

To put things in perspective even more, posted below are selected excerpts from the Philippine News Agency’s (PNA) article. Some parts in boldface…

Excerpt 1

Some 50 workers from various sectors received their first dose of vaccine against the dreaded Covid-19 as the government kicked off the mass vaccination of the economic front-liners under the A4 priority group at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City on Monday.

Christopher Molo, a 28-year-old Angkas rider, said getting vaccinated would lessen his fear to get infected with the disease and have serious illness conditions due to the virus.

He said he decided to get vaccinated to also protect his family against the risk of transmission.

“May takot at kaba dahil bukod sa panganib ng kalsada, may takot na rin sa virus kasi may posibilidad kami na mahawa rin na mas nakakatakot (There is fear and nervousness because apart from the danger of the road, there is also fear that we might get infected with the virus — that is more worrisome),” Molo said during the symbolic vaccination attended by officials from public and private sectors.

Molo said he always keeps the health protocols in mind during his work hours. But he is more feeling safe now that he is vaccinated.

Excerpt 2

TV host Iya Villania-Arellano said she decided to get vaccinated to become safe from the risks of getting infected.

“I wanna feel safe and I wanna contribute to taking that one step towards that achieving of herd immunity. That’s why we decide to get vaccinated. I wanna be one with everyone else in being able to give way the life that we had,” Iya said.

Iya and her husband Drew Arellano were both vaccinated with Sinovac vaccines, encouraging more Filipinos to avail themselves of the Covid-19 jabs.

Don’t be choosy. Get what is available, because it is our way of being able to get back to our lives, and be able to enjoy what we used to be able to enjoy without the mask, without the face shield. Enjoy fresh air, enjoy breathing properly, and enjoy the outside world with our families, with our loved ones. So guys, come on, let’s get vaccinated,” she said.

Maurel Magyani, a service crew for eight years with Jollibee, said getting vaccinated will save her child from the danger brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I feel safe kasi nabakunahan na ako (because I already got vaccinated),” she said.

Excerpt 3

The Philippine government has decided to inoculate essential workers belonging to the A4 priority groups in areas where there is a high-risk exposure to Covid-19 infection.

The initial vaccination rollout for the A4 priority group is being carried out in the areas of Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao, which are collectively called the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus 8.

The first phase of the inoculation covers employees in private companies who are working outside their homes; employees in government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs) and local government units (LGUs); and informal sector workers and those self-employed who work outside their homes, and those working in private households.

In his taped message for the event, President Rodrigo Duterte said the arrival of Covid-19 vaccines “in bulk” and the vaccination of essential workers boost the government’s efforts to beat the pandemic.

“We can now see the light at the end of the tunnel as the vaccine shipments have arrived, have started to arrive in bulk. This development is the result of our national government’s aggressive efforts to secure sufficient doses from the different manufacturers,” Duterte said.

Duterte also reminded the public to continue to adhere to the minimum public health standards.

That’s quite a load of information above. While A4 patients are being vaccinated, it does NOT mean that vaccination for patients of A1, A2 and A3 will stop. In fact, vaccination sites and their organizers are still waiting for category A1, A2 and A3 patients to come to them (note: register first) and those who missed out on their 2nd dose will still be served. Going back to the Philippine News Agency report, Senator Bong Go stated: “We should exert all efforts to continuously prioritize A1, A2, and A3 priority groups by establishing special lanes or special vaccination centers for them.”

Going back to the above excerpts, A4 is further defined as A4 workers in NCR+8 (Phase 1) and A4 workers outside NCR+8 (Phase 2). Below is an image sourced from another Philippine News Agency article.

For your reference.

Economic significance of category A4

In another Philippines News Agency article, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez stated that vaccinating patients under category A4 is key to the nation’s economic recovery. A4 covers a wide number of employees under different sectors, most notably the private sectors who work outside their homes. Check out the excerpt below…

During the ceremonial vaccination for A4 group in Pasay City Monday, Lopez thanked the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) for expanding the definition of A4 priority group to include “almost all” workers.

We are really giving support to the backbone of our economy, our workers. So this is really a shot in the arm to the economic front-liners, a shot in the arm to our economy. And this is really what we need as we are trying to continuously reopen,” Lopez said.

Following the vaccination of healthcare workers, senior citizens, and those with comorbidities, economic front-liners can now get the jab against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The expanded list in the fourth priority group has included self-employed individuals, house helpers, and business process outsourcing workers, among others, who work outside their homes.

Lopez added that as vaccines provide protection and lower the risk of getting severe Covid-19 cases and death, the inoculation for the A4 group will boost confidence to reopen the economy.

“And with that, we will confidently reopen towards that path, and that’s the path towards recovery. And now we’re seeing such recovery, we will see more and better signs of that recovery moving forward,” the DTI chief said.

Once a whole lot of A4 patients get vaccinated, it will be great for the businesses who have been struggling hard to keep operating. It will also be great not only for the fortunate employees (still working daily) but also for the unemployed (including those who are afraid of daily travel, fearing possible COVID-19 infection). Of course, those who will got vaccinated are those who successfully registered in their respective cities or local communities. There are still a lot of people out there who have not registered for one reason or another.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Does the start of vaccination of A4 patients sound encouraging to you personally? Have you registered already? Have you been unemployed for over three months now?

In your city, has the mayor or other city government officials been posing a lot for pictures while witnessing the local vaccination processes?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City lifts liquor ban with some restrictions amid MECQ, other less stringent quarantine status

The liquor ban in Muntinlupa City is has officially been lifted but with restrictions for the duration of Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) and other less stringent community quarantines as may be declared by the national government.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi approved City Ordinance No. 2021-232 lifting the liquor ban in the city with provisions on regulation and limitations for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Under the local ordinance, city residents can only consume alcoholic beverages within their private residence. Social drinking involving individuals not living in the same residence shall still be strictly prohibited.

The sale of liquor and other intoxicating beverages shall only be during 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM and will only be limited to Muntinlupa residents.

Consumption or drinking liquor in public places such as restaurants and other commercial establishments permitted to operate by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) shall be regulated: beer – maximum of 2 bottles, hard drinks – maximum of 2 glasses, and for wine and whiskey – maximum of two glasses.

Business establishments who will violate the ordinance shall be meted with the following penalties: closure of one week for first offense and revocation of business permit for second offense.

Further, violating persons who are sellers shall receive P2,000 penalty for first offense and P5,000 for second offense, while those who are buyers will be penalized with P2,500 for their first offense and P5,000 for second offense.

Members of the Muntinlupa City Police Station, Public Order and Safety Office, City Security Office, Muntinlupa Traffic and Management Bureau, Business Permit and Licensing Office, Barangay Chairpersons and their personnel, and other deputized individuals will conduct inspections in commercial establishments to ensure that the local ordinance is followed.

The City Government warns beneficiaries of the emergency assistance from the DSWD that they are prohibited to use their cash aid to purchase liquor or any alcoholic beverage. The public is encouraged to report violators for proper action.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi reminds city residents that the lifting of liquor ban is for economic reasons and that the health and safety of the public should not be compromised.

“COVID-19 is still an imminent threat so I urge everyone to be responsible and to continue observing health protocols even as quarantine measures and the liquor ban are relaxed in the implementation of MECQ,” Fresnedi said.

As of May 5, Muntinlupa City has 11,585 confirmed cases with 10,127 recoveries, 1,154 active cases, 304 reported deaths, 168 suspect cases, and 988 probable cases.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

I Love Israel: Israel’s success in dealing with the pandemic acknowledged

Yesterday, there was this article published in the Philippine Star (online version here) with a title that caught my attention…O Israel!

The said article was written by long-time columnist Boo Chanco (who cited the Washington Post, Capital Economics and Deutsche Welle for context) and to put things in perspective, below are notable excerpts for your reading. Some parts in bold…

Excerpt 1

According to The Washington Post, Israel is now partying like it’s 2019.

“With most adults now vaccinated against the coronavirus and restrictions falling away – including the lifting this week of outdoor mask requirements – Israelis are joyously resuming routines that were disrupted more than a year ago and providing a glimpse of what the future could hold for other countries.”

Oh, Israel! How did you guys do it? We are still in limbo. The best guess for us puts two more years of aimless wandering in the COVID desert.

Excerpt 2

According to The Washington Post, “the rate of new infections has plummeted – from a peak of almost 10,000 a day to about 140 – and the number of serious coronavirus cases in many hospitals is down to single digits.

The emergency COVID-19 ward at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv resumed duty as a parking garage, and waiting rooms are suddenly flooded with non-COVID patients coming for long-deferred treatments.”

But Israeli health officials are quick to note that the pandemic is not over. They are worried about the variants. There is also the possibility of outbreaks in schools, where most students are too young to be vaccinated.

Still, Israel is showing what other nations can expect if they can keep on vaccinating.

“With almost 90 percent of the most vulnerable cohort – those 50 and older – fully inoculated, experts say hospital ICU units are now shielded from being overwhelmed, as almost happened earlier in the pandemic.”

Just two months ago, the spread of the disease stubbornly refused to slow. Vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine is making the difference for Israel.

Dr. Tony Leachon, who once advised IATF, however observed rightly that while “vaccines save lives, the success of Israel is anchored on leadership and governance, and agility in execution.”

According to Deutsche Welle, Israel was able to secure large quantities of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine because Israel agreed to pay double the price for each dose.

Excerpt 3

Israeli officials explained they agreed to pay extra per dose because they figured that in pure economic numbers, the total amount they overpaid was a miniscule fraction of what it costs to lockdown the country. This is not counting the extra medical costs of COVID and the incalculable price of losing a loved one.

Poor Filipinos. We don’t have leaders who think as clearly as the Israelis. We have red tape loving bureaucrats. So, we didn’t have enough vaccines early enough, and it seems we have the wrong one.

A successful vaccination rollout would be our country’s economic game changer. But as Capital Economics said, progress has been disappointing as only one percent of the population has been inoculated almost two months since the start of the program.

Israel launched one of the fastest rollouts in the world. According to The Washington Post, Israel delivered just under 10 million doses of the two-shot Pfizer vaccine regimen, reaching 4.98 million people or about 55 percent of its total population. An additional 400,000 Israelis have received one shot.

“If those who have been infected and then recovered are added, more than 60 percent of Israeli residents now have some level of protective antibodies. The virus is running short of vulnerable bodies to infect.”

Can you imagine if we were able to do that for Metro Manila? NCR’s population is comparable in number to Israel’s.

Wow! Those are very notable details. It is very clear that Israel went all-out and paid heavily to protect their people and set the stage for social and economic comebacks. I admire Israel for their focus, their efforts and management of the COVID-19 crisis (China Virus) there. To put things in perspective, watch these related YouTube videos below…

By comparison, the efforts here in the Philippines are nowhere as efficient and nowhere as successful. It should be noted that yesterday, the Philippines’ total number of COVID-19 cases has passed the 1,000,000 mark. Regardless, I encourage you all to read Boo Chanco’s article in full at https://www.philstar.com/business/2021/04/26/2093707/oh-israel

Going back to Israel, they already announced that they will open their borders to foreign visitors who have already been vaccinated for COVID-19.

In ending this piece, let me ask you readers the following questions:

  1. What is your opinion about Israel’s COVID-19 vaccination program and the way they managed their economy and society?
  2. Here in the Philippines, what is your opinion about the COVID-19 crisis-related efforts of the national government as well as the local government units (LGUs)?
  3. Also here in the Philippines, as local citizens, do you believe your respective mayors are diligently working to serve you and protect your from COVID-19? Do you find your mayors more focused with their egos instead of performing public service?
  4. Still here in the Philippines, if you are a local business owner or manager, has your local government been helpful or harmful?

If you are willing to answer, please do so in the comments section below. If you want more privacy, please contact me directly online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

COVID-19 Crisis: DTI says restaurants in MECQ areas are allowed to have outdoor dining

In what is clearly a move with economic recovery in mind, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez declared that restaurants (located in places under MECQ or modified enhanced community quarantine status) with outdoor dining services and set-ups are allowed to resume but with certain limitations.

To make things clear, below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) article which was published just yesterday. For greater emphasis, some parts are in bold.

In a text message to reporters Sunday night, Lopez said food establishments with alfresco dining services are only allowed up to 50 percent capacity, with diagonal seating arrangement and acrylic dividers on tables.

He added that indoor dine-in services are still not allowed in areas under MECQ, but food establishments can continue to operate with their take-out and delivery services.

From April 12 to 30, the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal or the NCR Plus as well as Santiago City in Isabela, and the provinces of Quirino and Abra were also placed under MECQ.

Earlier, the DTI chief said that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) might be sensitive in allowing indoor dine-in due to the highly contagious new variants of Covid-19.

“The IATF recommended to the President to shift to MECQ after two weeks of ECQ to restore more jobs and livelihood for the people,” Lopez said.

Clearly the local authorities are trying hard to balance themselves between economics and public health as new cases of COVID-19 (China Virus) continue to be counted in very high numbers on a daily basis in recent times. On April 2, the count of infections reached over 15,000.

Going back to the issue of allowing restaurants with outdoor dining (AKA alfresco) within the MECQ areas, it is good news that they are allowed to resume operations. It will still be a challenge for food establishments to attract enough paying customers and make their business’ financial ends meet.

On a personal experience, I love eating ramen and Tsukemen at Sigekiya Ramen in Alabang. I prefer that such meals would be cooked by the restaurant and be served to me at a table at their place. The alternative of taking the cooked ramen out and consume it at home is just not a convincing option for me because ramen is meant to be consumed quickly while it is hot. The alternative of taking home ingredients and noodles, and have them cooked at home does not appeal to me as I prefer Sigekiya’s cooks make the meal I paid for.

A delicious meal like this one is best to be eaten at the restaurant, even outdoors.

Also located in Alabang is the local branch of Akrotiri, a really fine restaurant that serves authentic Greek meals that my family and friends enjoyed. They also have meals that, in my opinion, are best consumed at their place and their Alabang branch (Commercenter to be precise) has space for outdoor dining. It was at Akrotiri Alabang where I treated 2019 SEA Games gold medalist Kim Mangrobang to a meal and organized an exclusive interview with her. They really have a fine-looking place. Visit their website at https://akrotiri.ph/

It is important to keep in mind that restaurants around the nation have struggled a lot since the pandemic started last year. These business establishments are also struggling with retaining their respective employees, notably their cooks, the baristas, waiters and waitresses. Remember that the meals and drinks you enjoy would not be the same when the people who prepared them get laid off.

With the DTI’s declaration of allowing food establishments with outdoor dining setups and services to resume, I encourage you my readers to consider supporting these businesses for your food and beverage needs. If you can’t have a meal with the family outdoors, perhaps you can push through with a business meeting with a corporate associate or reunite with your friend or relative with the outdoor setting of a restaurant while adhering to health protocols (wearing face masks, face shields, sanitizing yourselves, etc.). 

Now, let’s observe how the mayors, the barangay captains and other local authorities in MECQ areas will react to DTI’s declaration. You also might want to check with the local restaurants and coffee shops if they allow outdoor dining. Consider taking time out to call them or verify on their respective social media channels/accounts to see if outdoor dining is allowed.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

S-PaSS now essential for those who need to travel far and pass through police checkpoints

Moving around the Philippines, specifically in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the nearby provinces, has gotten tougher as President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the shift into ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) for the said places. ECQ is a more restricted status that will last from March 29 to April 4, 2021. Again, this is the national government’s response to the recent spike in new COVID-19 cases which are very disturbing.

To put things in context, here is an excerpt about ECQ from Philippine News Agency’s (PNA) report…

An ECQ status mandates all households to observe strict home quarantine. Movements will be limited to Authorized Persons Outside Residence, those accessing essential goods and services, and workers in establishments allowed to operate.

Mass gatherings (more than 10 persons outside and non-household members indoors) and face-to-face classes are also prohibited in ECQ zones. Mass transportation is allowed at limited capacity.

With regards to local travel during this time of ECQ, the S-PaSS  (Safe, Swift & Smart Passage) online travel management system is more essential and it has an app that can be downloaded for free. This is the same S-PaSS that the City Government of Las Piñas promoted recently.

For those who have not been familiar nor started using it, the S-PaSS was designed to facilitate a safe, swift and smart coordination of travels to destination LGUs (local government units). The traveler may check if the destination LGU has a restricted or unrestricted travel policy. If the LGU is restricted, the traveler must use the S-PaSS to apply for a TCP or Travel Coordination Permit. Travelers are free to visit any unrestricted destination LGU, however it is recommended to generate a TPP or Travel Pass-Through Permit if they will be passing through LGUs with restricted statuses.

The S-PaSS is now the subject of a new article published yesterday at Philippine News Agency (PNA) and below is an excerpt…

The new paperless app S-PaSS (Safe, Swift and Smart Passage) recently launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) offers a convenient and safe way to process travel authority online for local travelers, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Debold Sinas on Saturday said.

Sinas said S-PaSS will boost the PNP’s imposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the quarantine control points (QCPs) that have been set up in different local government units (LGUs).

“It will continue to help and benefit LGUs in recording and monitoring in real time, traveler’s information, such as those who are going in and out of their respective localities,” Sinas said in a statement.

He said the implementation of S-PaSS by Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) promises to be a one-stop-shop app for the local stranded individuals (LSIs), returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), emergency travelers (ETs) and other essential travelers during the pandemic.

“The PNP welcomes the development of this local mobility feature as a tool which integrates the processing system for the issuance of Travel Pass-Through Permit or TPP and Travel Coordination Permit or PCP, Travel Authorities and QR codes which quickly generates real-time reports needed,” he added.

Despite the use of the mobile S-PaSS app, Sinas said police deployment will continue to ensure strict public adherence to the implementation of minimum public health and safety protocols.

Last Friday, the DOST and partner government agencies officially launched the S-PaSS, a one-stop online communication and coordination platform for LGUs.

As you can see in the above information, the S-PaSS is crucial for those who need to travel far distances and reach their respective destinations (notably local government units). Apart from helping motorists, other travelers such as returning overseas Filipinos, the stranded people and the essential movers can avail of the system to move around. The Philippine National Police (PNP) recognizes S-PaSS officially.

To learn more about S-PaSS, https://www.facebook.com/spassph or visit their official website at https://s-pass.ph/

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: National Capital Region (NCR) and 4 nearby provinces now under GCQ until April 4, 2021

It is all over the news and already a lot of people got affected specifically in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal. This past Sunday, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) issued a new resolution (Resolution #104) in response to the spike of COVID-19 cases in the country. There was a single-day high of 7,999 new COVID-19 cases reported recently followed by blaming the government and economic managers.

Firstly, there is no lockdown which is good news. This is about retaining the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) status for NCR while the four nearby provinces have fallen under the same status.

To put things in perspective, posted below are excerpts from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) report…

Excerpt 1

Under IATF Resolution No. 104, he said only essential travel into and out of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal will be allowed.

Excerpt 2

Traveling into and out of Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal will be prohibited. We will have a sort of bubble in NCR, and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal,” he said.

Travel of authorized persons outside their residences (APORs) such as essential workers, health and emergency frontline services personnel; government officials and government frontline personnel; duly-authorized humanitarian assistance actors; persons traveling for medical or humanitarian reasons; persons going to the airport for travel abroad, returning overseas Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will be unimpeded for as long as they show their respective work identification cards.

Individuals crossing zones for work or business and going back home will also be allowed to travel to and from the said areas.

“Kung kayo ay uuwi, essential travel po ‘yun. Kailangan lang magpakita ng ID kung saan ka talaga nakatira (If you’re going back home that’s essential travel. All you need to do is show your ID to prove that you live there),” he said.

Excerpt 3

Public gatherings limited

All public gatherings, including religious gatherings, will be prohibited but weddings, baptism, and funerals will be allowed but must observe a 10-person venue capacity.

Current operational capacities of essential and non-essential services and industries will remain.

However, face-to-face meetings, group meals in workplaces will be prohibited. Instead, work-from-home and virtual meetings are encouraged.

Roque said the IATF resolution also enjoins the private sector to adopt similar alternative working arrangements as those in place in the executive branch of government such as operating on a 30 to 50 capacity.

Only outdoor dining allowed

As for dining, Roque said only outdoor dining will be allowed in areas under GCQ while indoor dining will be strictly prohibited.

“Pagdating po sa mga restaurants, ang papayagan lang po yung mga outdoor dining (When it comes to restaurants, we will only allow those with outdoor dining),” he said.

Outdoor dining must observe a maximum of 50 percent venue capacity.

Take out and delivery is encouraged, he added.

Wear masks at home

Although the economy will stay open, Roque said the IATF resolution will require persons below 18-years-old and above 65-years-old, those with comorbidities, and pregnant women to remain inside their residences at all times.

The IATF resolution also advises the wearing of face mask at home especially when living with elderly and vulnerable.

Accepting of visitors outside immediate family or household is strongly discouraged.

Operations of driving schools, traditional cinemas and video and interactive game arcades, libraries, archives, museums, and cultural centers, limited social events at accredited tourism establishments and limited tourism attractions will be temporarily suspended except open-air tourism attractions.

Before the IATF’s new resolution was issued, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) went ahead in shortening the hours of voter registration as well as suspending the organizing of satellite registration (registration processes held outside of their office) which started yesterday. People around the Philippines have until the end September 2021 to register themselves or adjust their respective voter statuses in preparation of the May 2022 presidential, national and local elections.

For their part, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced yesterday that it would yield to public health concerns in relation to the GCQ status for NCR and the 4 nearby provinces.

With regards to the IATF’s prohibition on indoor dining, already the shopping malls and restaurants here in South Metro Manila have made adjustments and updated their customers. Sigekiya Ramen announced that their restaurant at Commercenter, Filinvest City in Alabang, is still allowed to accommodate paying customers for outdoor dining. Like many others, they also offer takeout and delivery services. Alabang Town Center and Festival Mall in Alabang posted updates about safety protocols in accordance to IATF Resolution #104.

With all these developments in place, people in the NCR and the affected provinces under GCQ will have to adjust. It is okay to keep reporting to work but there is a need to be cautious with regards to personal safety and avoiding COVID-19 infection as much as possible. There is also the need to prioritize where to go and what to do. All of these are in effect until April 4, 2021 and here is hoping that the current situation will improve (that the daily COVID-19 count of new cases will go down) so that the new round of restrictions under GCQ will not be extended.

Better yet, I encourage you all to look up to our Lord Jesus and keep having unwavering faith in Him. I also encourage you all to read chapter 91 of the Book of Psalm in the Holy Bible and pray in tongues to our Lord in the privacy in your respective rooms (with the door shut closed). Open your heart to the Lord, always.

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